Dear Nanay… letters from Tamara Michelle Posa Dominado

Just after our return from the Philippines in April 2007 Marie Boti and I heard that our friend Maria Luisa Posa-Dominado, Luing for short, had been abducted on her way back from an election meeting of the progressive party, Bayan Muna. Her name and that of traveling companion Nilo Arado were thus added to the growing list of hundreds of Filipinos who have been killed and abducted since the present government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo came to power in 2001. Marie and I are working on a film inspired in large part by Luing’s life and disappearance… and we have had the privilege of getting to know her amazing daughters, May Wan and Tamara. The following letters from Tamara were just published in the national newspaper, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which introduced her this way:

Tamara Michelle Posa Dominado, 16, is a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry freshman at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas Miag-ao Campus. Her mother Maria Luisa Posa-Dominado, a Bayan Muna leader, was abducted by armed men on April 12, 2007 in Oton, Iloilo, together with Nilo Arado. Both are still missing to this day.

-- Malcolm Guy


"What’s there to fear?"

By Tamara Michelle Posa Dominado
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:38:00 12/11/2008

Dear Nanay,

Today you turn 53. I really wish you were here to celebrate it. I’ve missed you so much, every day and always. And I guess everyone else has, too.

It has been hard not having you around.

I have been living in a dorm for the past two months now. It has been stressful and depressing living there. Some of my high school classmates are staying there, too. I get homesick every now and then because I don’t like the place. I don’t know why.

There was this one time when I really got sick because I cried for almost the whole night. Crying makes me weak. That night, my classmate got homesick and she cried because she missed her mom. That’s what triggered my fit of crying. You see, I won’t easily admit it and I sometimes forget it, but deep down inside, I miss you so much. I’ve missed you since the day you did not come back. I try my best not to talk about you because just a mere memory brings me to the verge of tears. Sometimes I wonder if the pain will ever go away."

Read more: What’s there to fear?


CAP-CPC extends full support to Adil Charkaoui

The Centre d’appui aux Philippines / Center for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC) views with alarm the unfolding events surrounding the trial of Adil Charkaoui in Canada.

On December 9, in Montreal, Adil Charkaoui will go to trial again, even though it was just revealed that the Canadian spy agency CSIS has not yet given anyone - not even the judge - evidence to support its opinions about Adil. In addition, the hearings will take place under a judge, that Charkaoui's lawyers have already argued, should withdraw from the case on the grounds of bias. (More info: www.adilinfo.org/en/node/483).

The Charkaouis have been struggling for very basic rights for more than five years now - against racial profiling, secret trials, torture, arbitrary detention - in what feels like a treadmill of injustice. The endless court proceedings completely banalize the injustices, humiliations, threat of violence and intrusive state control Adil and the rest of his family are subject to on a daily basis.

If, through the secret trial process, the Federal Court finds the certificate "reasonable", Adil - a teacher and father of three children living in Montreal with his family since 1995 - could be deported to Morocco. Two Immigration Canada risk assessments - in August 2003 and October 2007 - found that he is at risk of torture, death or cruel and unusual punishment if deported. Government and courts have nevertheless continued the security certificate deportation proceedings against him, with the Supreme Court refusing in September 2008 to hear Charkaoui's argument that keeping him under a threat of being sent to torture is abusive.

On December 10, Canada will again mark International Human Rights Day, at the same time that secret rendition-to-torture hearings will be continuing. The public face of those secret hearings - show trials in which the individual is supposed to show that it isn't reasonable to believe that he has the profile of a potential "threat" without knowing the case against him ­ have already begun in some of the security certificate cases, like the trial of Adil Charkaoui.

The Centre d’appui aux Philippines / Center for Philippine Concerns is an organization of Filipinos and non-Filipinos in Canada. It respects the provisions of the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights and advocates for the promotion of and respect for human rights of all peoples.


The HR Desk / Centre d'appui aux Philippines - Centre for Philippine Concerns (Montréal)

Action in solidarity with Adil Charkaoui

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at noon
Outside Federal Court, 30 McGill St. (Square Victoria Metro), Montreal


Montréal: Vigil and Forum December 10 / Vigile et conférence le 10 décembre

Press conference and vigil with Tamil community
Where: Complex Guy Favreau, 200 Rene Levesque W., Montréal, Québec (Metro Place-des-Arts – Green Line or Metro Place d'Armes – Orange Line)
When: December 10, 2008 11 am – 12 noon

Conférence de presse et vigile avec la communauté tamoule
Complexe Guy Favreau, 200 ouest, René Lévèsque, Montréal, Québec (Métro Place-des-Arts - ligne verte, ou Métro Place d'Armes - ligne orange)
Date et heure: le 10 décembre 2008
11h - 12h midi

Public Forum with Tamil, Philippine and Palestinian communities
Speakers from the Tamil, Filipino and Palestinian communities will present on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Palestine.
Where: 2149 Mackay – School of Community and Public Affairs, Condordia University (corner Sherbrooke), Montréal, Québec (Metro Guy-Concordia)
When: December 10, 2008 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Pot Luck

Conférence-discussion - Sri Lanka, Philippines et Palestine
Des conférenciers des communautés tamoule, philippine et palestine présenteront la situation des droits humains au Sri lanka, aux Philippines et en Palestine.

Ou: 2149 Mackay - School of Community and Public Affairs, Université Concordia (coin Sherbrooke), Montréal, Québec (Métro Guy-Concordia)
Date et heure: Le 10 décembre 2008
18:30h – 20:30h
Souper communautaire- apporter un plat à partager.

Event sponsored by the Centre d'appui aux Philippines - Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC), International Migrants Alliance - Canada (IMA-Canada), Centre des travailleuses et travailleurs immigrants - Immigrant Workers Centre (CTI-IWC), Tadamon! and the Tamil Action Committee in coordination with the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) - Canada.

Activité organisé par le Centre d'appui aux Philippines - Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC), International Migrants Alliance - Canada (IMA-Canada), Centre des travailleuses et travailleurs immigrants - Immigrant Workers Centre (CTI-IWC), Tadamon! et le Comité d'action Tamoul /Action Committee, en coordination avec la Ligue international des luttes des peuples (LILP) – Canada.